Nothing stirs the curiosity quite like stories of swashbuckling pirates and their tales of plunder. From fiction's Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook to the infamous true-life tales of Blackbeard and Captain Henry Morgan, we explore the gripping world of pirates and their part in history.


This time the Item of the Month is a little different: .. -. -.. .. .- - ---- -.-. …. .. -. .- (or India to China) (NMM Ref: PBH3535).

Blackbeard the Pirate | Joseph Nicholls (fl. 1726–55) | Engraving .jpg

Blackbeard or Edward Teach (c.1680-1718) is one of the most infamous pirates to have ever lived. Known for his fearsome image and daring acts on land and sea throughout the West Indies and along the North American East coast, his legacy has been the inspiration for many depictions of pirates throughout history.


A hand-drawn story book from 1879 containing three stories, 'The Adventures of a Castaway', 'The Adventures of Tom and Jerry' and 'Ye Pirate'.

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As we get ready for our Family Pirate Takeover event, our staff have been looking at tales of pirates within the collection. First up Aaron Jaffer explores how the Romans reacted to piracy in the Mediterranean.

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As we prepare for our Family Pirate Takeover, Curator of Art, Melanie Vandenbrouck has been looking at playful portrayals of pirates in our collection.

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Ahead of our Pirate Takeover, Curator of Naval History, James Davey, shares examples of real pirates who were far more characterful than those of fiction. 

'Captain Teach commonly call'd Black Beard'

The Caird Library has a new display featuring archive and library items connected with crimes and criminals at sea.

'Captain Teach commonly call'd Black Beard'

Edward Thatch had built up a fearsome reputation as the most notorious pirate of the early 18th Century. Never heard of him? If you had lived in His Majesty’s colony of Virginia in 1718 you certainly would have. 

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Though pirates have existed since ancient times, the Golden Age of piracy was in the 17th and early 18th centuries.  During this time more than 5000 pirates were said to be at sea.